Five of the Most Controversial Fashion Advertisements Ever

Sex Sells and Fashion Campaigns are about Generating Sales, right? We take a Look at five of the most controversial Fashion Advertisement Campaigns Ever.

From sexually suggestive motifs to cultural taboos, fashion advertisements have caused quite a bit of controversy throughout the years. Despite the rise of liberal media outlets, critics aren’t showing signs of becoming lenient. The Advertising Standards Agency is outright banning negligent ads from the pages of magazines. Just last year a Saint Laurent ad was banned for featuring a model deemed as “Unnhealthily thin“. Months earlier, the agency ruled that a Miu Miu campaign featuring 21-year old, Mia Goth was “irresponsible and likely to cause serious “offense” for inappropriately sexualising a model who appeared to be a child. What’s a fashion campaign’s purpose if not to stir the minds of fashion aficionados and critics? Comments on Instagram and Twitter pour in by the millisecond as soon as a new ad is revealed. Everyone’s a critic now with the ability to incite a conversation reaching millions of people. No one’s denying that fashion ad campaigns are about creating a buzz, but how far is too far? Some may even question if we should be policing the art form at all. The ASA reviews over 30,000 cases a year and the decision to silence the voice of a brand can be swift. The idea certainly complicates the whole freedom of speech, artistic expression angle. In a world defined by viewpoints, the slightest hint of editorial risk is bound to offend someone. Let’s take a look at some of the most controversial fashion ad campaigns of all time that left mouths open and imaginations racing.

Dolce Gabbana 2007, Gang Rape Ad

[tps_title]Controversial Fashion Ads – Dolce and Gabbana 2007 Ad Campain[/tps_title] Dolce and Gabbana Gang Rape Controversial Fashion Ad Campaigns Social media can really cause a frenzy. The Dolce and Gabbana 2007 ad was called out by PR maven and ANTM judge, Kelly Cutrone on twitter: “I guess simulating gang bangs are fine “ but IVF and same sex marriage are not “ life according to @dolcegabbana.” A barrage of furious retweets and mentions followed immediately after. The controversy of this ad literally lies in the suggestive nature of its visual content. Model Alessandra Ambrosio is shown laying on her back while 4 men look down at her, one of them restraining her by the left arm. The fashion house insisted that critics were wrong and that the ad was not suggesting violence against women. Designer Stefano Gabbana stated that the image was intended to show “an erotic dream, a sexual game”.

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